Race Weekend Central

The Frontstretch 5: Ways to Improve NASCAR’s Inspection Process

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

1. Humanize the process again Last week in Holding a Pretty Wheel, I examined the recent rash of inspection failures in NASCAR. There’s plenty of blame to go around for what’s happening, but what can be done about it? First and foremost, has the process become too dependent on technology? It’s very possible that the …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2018 GoBowling at the Glen

(Photo: Danny Peters)

Who… gets my shoutout of the race? With the excitement over Chase Elliott’s first win, another young driver looking to break through for the first time fell short but is making an excellent case for himself as a favorite at the Glen.  After a fourth-place finish in his second Cup race at the track, Daniel …

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Holding A Pretty Wheel: Inspecting the Process

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

To the rear, inspection. These words have become all too familiar over the last couple of seasons as NASCAR has cracked down on weekend inspection failures. Frankly, it’s not a great look for the sport, as some weeks multiple teams pile up the failures, giving outsiders the impression that nefarious things are afoot. And it …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2018 Quaker State 400

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Who… gets my shoutout of the race? Kevin Harvick had a top-five finish at Kentucky Speedway, the best among his Stewart-Haas Racing teammates, but he didn’t lead a single lap. Neither did Kyle Busch, who finished fourth. Instead, Martin Truex Jr. led the lion’s share at 174 of 267, a second straight dominating performance at Kentucky …

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The Frontstretch 5: Most Recent 1st-Time Winners at Daytona

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

1. Erik Jones, July 2018 Not everyone loves a winner, but most fans love a first-time winner.  Erik Jones was the most recent driver to visit Victory Lane at Daytona International Speedway, but he’s the latest in a long line of drivers to find their first wins at the World Center of Racing. What Jones …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the Coke Zero Sugar 400

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Who… gets my shoutout of the race? One of the cool things about superspeedway racing is that restrictor plates allow the cream to rise to the top when it comes to driving skill. Yes, plate racing is a skill, and sometimes drivers who struggle at other tracks shine at these events, and vice versa (yeah, …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Why the Number of Winners Matters

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

The end of Saturday night’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway marks the halfway point in the 2018 season.  After 17 races of the 36-race schedule, we’ve seen just six different winners, the fewest in four decades.  Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch have 10 of those wins between them, with five …

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The Frontstretch 5: Ideas for NASCAR So Crazy They Just Might Work

(Photo: Matthew T. Thacker/NKP)

1. Let someone else design the cars A couple things here. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was NASCAR brought down overnight. In other words, there is no quick fix here. New cars, new venues and new ideas all take time, and lots of it, to do right. But it may just be …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the Overton’s 400

Kyle Busch (Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Who… gets my shoutout of the race? Even on a team, it’s easy to point fingers and let a setback outweigh performance.  Sometimes the setback is even the team’s own fault, or as in Clint Bowyer’s case, purely driver error. A pit road speeding penalty mushroomed for Bowyer as he drew a second penalty while …

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The Frontstretch 5: Overly Deep Philosophical Questions About NASCAR

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

1. Are drivers passionate enough? It’s not that any driver, at any level, doesn’t want to win. Any competitor who makes it to the top level of any sport is hungry to win, to be among the best. So it’s not that any driver lacks desire. But it’s hard to deny that there’s something missing …

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